Why Withdraw an Application?

Why Withdraw an Application?

Postby ger233 » Fri Oct 09, 2009 1:33 pm

Hello Everyone,

A developer recently withdrew an application near me, the day before the decision was due. A friend has speculated that the developer probably found out that permission was going to be refused and, therefore, thought that withdrawing the application would look better than a refusal when trying again. Has anyone come across similar situations? Is this common practice and, if so, would/should/could a planning authority legitimately tell the developer its decision in advance, giving them time to withdraw?

The second point to this is that I'd like to look at the planner's report, which surely would already have been written at that stage. I haven't asked to see it yet, but will do soon. As the application was withdrawn before a decision was made, could the planning authority withhold the report from me? Are there any regulations covering this situation? I'd like to know in advance before I ask to see the report.

Thanks for any help.
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Re: Why Withdraw an Application?

Postby henno » Fri Oct 09, 2009 3:29 pm

if the planner asked for information during the process at FI stage, and the developer did not or could not answer it satisfactorily, then it would be clear to the developer that the decision would be refused... and in this case a withdrawal is the lesser of two evils.

as the application was a valid one, the planners report should be available for viewing after the application is withdrawn.
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Re: Why Withdraw an Application?

Postby ger233 » Fri Oct 09, 2009 4:25 pm

henno wrote:if the planner asked for information during the process at FI stage, and the developer did not or could not answer it satisfactorily, then it would be clear to the developer that the decision would be refused... and in this case a withdrawal is the lesser of two evils.

as the application was a valid one, the planners report should be available for viewing after the application is withdrawn.


Hello henno,

The developer did supply further information on request. In my eyes it wasn't a great response, but that's obviously subjective. I was happy that the application was withdrawn, but a little surprised at the timing, which brings me back to my original question: is it legitimate for a developer to simply ask (or be told) the day before a decision, what that decision will be? Of course, that might not be what happened, but given the timing, it seems perhaps more likely than not.

In more general terms, I know a developer is allowed and indeed encouraged to speak to relevant departments of the planning authority, before responding to a further information request; but is a developer allowed to speak to those departments or the planner once the further information has been supplied?

I must admit that this is all merely curiosity, to try and get a better handle on how the planning process works. My real interest is in seeing the planner's report, and hopefully you're right about it being available for viewing. Thanks for the response. More responses would be welcome.
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Re: Why Withdraw an Application?

Postby henno » Fri Oct 09, 2009 7:31 pm

it is commonly place for council engineers to communicate with developers during the planning process... it is also commonplace for tehse engineers to let the developers know wha the issues are and how they want them to be resolved. As a result of this, it is commonplace for engineers (whether they be sanitary, roads, water etc) to tell the developers if they will be recommending granting or refusal of permission based on information supplied. Its ultimately the planners decisions, but that decision is informed in some degree, by these engineers reports.

i would just say its not unusual.....
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Re: Why Withdraw an Application?

Postby wearnicehats » Sat Oct 10, 2009 4:01 pm

it's more usual for the agent - ie the architect or planning consultant - to discuss the application with the planners. It's much more of a two way process than you'd imagine. I personally wish that An Bord Pleanan could be the same but...

during the discussions you'll get a feel for how it's going. Planning consultants tend to have better relationships with the planning department and it's not uncommon for one to get the nod re a refusal.

of course the guy could have withdrawn it for other reasons - it could have been a resi scheme and they want to resubmit with commercial etc. they may have done a deal to sell the land and the new owner wants it pulled. they may have been advised that the LA was going to look for a clarification of Further information that they couldn't meet
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Re: Why Withdraw an Application?

Postby ger233 » Mon Oct 12, 2009 12:37 pm

wearnicehats wrote:it's more usual for the agent - ie the architect or planning consultant - to discuss the application with the planners. It's much more of a two way process than you'd imagine. I personally wish that An Bord Pleanan could be the same but...

during the discussions you'll get a feel for how it's going. Planning consultants tend to have better relationships with the planning department and it's not uncommon for one to get the nod re a refusal.

of course the guy could have withdrawn it for other reasons - it could have been a resi scheme and they want to resubmit with commercial etc. they may have done a deal to sell the land and the new owner wants it pulled. they may have been advised that the LA was going to look for a clarification of Further information that they couldn't meet


I wish that ordinary people, like myself, who have to live with the long-term results of (often poor) development, also had the opportunity to chat with the planners, rather than being relegated to written submissions!

Given that "it's not uncommon for [a planning consultant] to get the nod re a refusal", giving time for the withdrawal of such an application, I'm surprised that there are any refusals whatsoever, unless an applicant thinks they've got a good chance with an appeal.

Thanks for the reply wearnicehats.
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Re: Why Withdraw an Application?

Postby wearnicehats » Mon Oct 12, 2009 1:34 pm

I wouldn't want to give you too much of the wrong idea. Discussions normally take place regarding the information that the planners need. 99% of the discussions are pre-lodgement and this is actively encouraged by the system. Once lodged you can do nothing to influence the decision barring clearing up any minor ambiguities. Larger ambiguitie will usually result in a request for further info and on larger projects it is almost the norm to expect further Information which can be a lenghty process (up to 6 months) and will involve further direct discussions with the planners.

Any sniff of a refusal would only be if the planners report is to recommend refusal. This report still has to go to the Manager who is entitled to agree or disagree entirely depending on their own view. Many schemes recommended for a grant are refused and vice versa.

The public are allowed full access to all documentation and the LA will help you to understand the file if you ask. The benefit of written objections is that they can be read by the manager or anyone else involved.
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Re: Why Withdraw an Application?

Postby ger233 » Mon Oct 12, 2009 2:47 pm

Don't worry, you didn't give me the wrong idea! :)

I've had to learn the basics of the planning process fairly quickly over the last number of months, so I get how it all works in general; I just wasn't too sure if there were any actual regulations regarding contact between developers and the PA in between further information requests and any final decision.

I hope that I will get full access to the Planner's final report, even if the application itself was withdrawn before a decision was given. If the report was withheld because the application was withdrawn, I'd consider it bad form at the very least. Again, I'd be interested if there were regulations covering such scenarios.

As for written submissions, I'm happy that they're part of the system and, as you rightly say, can be read by the Manager and anyone else; however, whenever any reasonably large development is proposed, I think that pre-planning meetings with those who would be affected by such development, would be as worthwhile as pre-planning meetings with the PA itself.
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Re: Why Withdraw an Application?

Postby zelemon » Thu May 30, 2013 12:37 pm

is it possible to withdraw or remove a license from a granted planning application that was approved 3 or 4 years ago?
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Re: Why Withdraw an Application?

Postby zelemon » Thu May 30, 2013 12:45 pm

zelemon wrote:is it possible to withdraw or remove a license from a granted planning application that was approved 3 or 4 years ago?

Apologies, I am the agent on the above application but the client has not paid & is now making moves to build ignoring any advice I have given him,
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Re: Why Withdraw an Application?

Postby urbanisto » Thu May 30, 2013 9:23 pm

What type of licence do you mean?

If the applicant has a valid and still extant permission and has been granted a valid licence for some matter attached to that permission then this all remains valid until it expires (after 5 years). The permission and I imagine the licence pertain to the applicant, not the agent, so I fear your moment has passed.
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